- Luganda language
speakers=First language: 3.01 million (1991)
Second language: 100,000 (1991)
Luganda, sometimes known as Ganda, is a major language of
Uganda, spoken by over three million people mainly in the Bugandaregion, which includes the Ugandan capital Kampala. It belongs to the Bantu branch of the Niger-Congo language family. Typologically, it is an agglutinating languagewith subject-verb-object word order and nominative-accusative morphosyntactic alignment.
With 100,000 second-language speakers, it is the most widely spoken second language in Uganda next to English. The language is used in some primary schools in Buganda as pupils begin to learn English, the
official languageof Uganda.
A notable feature of Luganda phonology is its
geminate consonants and distinctions between long and short vowels. Baganda generally consider consonantal gemination and vowel lengthening to be two manifestations of the same effect, which they call simply "doubling" or "stressing".
Vowels Front Back Close IPA|i IPA|u Close-mid IPA|e IPA|o Open IPA|a
All five vowels have two forms: long and short. The distinction is phonemic but can occur only in certain positions. After two consonants, the latter being a
semivowel, and before two consonants, the former being a nasal, all vowels are long. Before a geminate, all vowels are short. The quality of a vowel is not affected by its length.
The table below gives the consonant set of Luganda, grouping voiceless and voiced consonants together in a cell where appropriate, in that order.
#The liquids IPA| [l] and IPA| [r] are actually
allophones of a single phonemebut since the distinction is reflected in the orthography and is generally recognised by native speakers, they are shown here as separate phonemes.
# The labiodental fricatives IPA| [f] and IPA| [v] are slightly labialised and so could also be transcribed IPA| [fʷ] and IPA| [vʷ] respectively.
Apart from IPA| [l] /IPA| [r] , all these consonants can be geminated, even at the start of a word: "bbiri" IPA| [bb'iri] (two), "kitto" IPA| [ʧ'itto] (cold). The affricates IPA| [ʧ] and IPA| [ʤ] are realised as IPA| [tʧ] and IPA| [dʤ] respectively when geminated: "kinakkinaye" IPA| [ʧin'atʧinaje] (to hurry), "jjajja" IPA| [dʤ'adʤa] (grandfather). The semivowels IPA| [w] and IPA| [j] are geminated as IPA| [ggw] and IPA| [dʤ] : "eggwanga" IPA| [eggw'aːŋga] (country); "jjenje" IPA| [dʤ'eːnʤe] (cricket)—from the roots "wanga" IPA| [w'aːŋga] and "yenje" IPA|/j'eːnʤe/ respectively, with the singular noun prefix "e-", which doubles the following consonant.
Apart from IPA| [l] /IPA| [r] , IPA| [w] and IPA| [j] , all consonants can also be prenasalised—prefixed with a
nasal consonant. This consonant will be IPA| [m] , IPA| [n] , IPA| [ɲ] or IPA| [ŋ] according to the place of articulation, and belongs to the same syllable as the consonant it precedes.
The liquid IPA| [l] /IPA| [r] becomes IPA| [d] when geminated or prenasalised. For example "ndaba" IPA| [n̩d'aba] 'I see' (from the root "-laba" with the subject prefix "n-"); "eddagala" IPA| [edd'agala] 'leaf' (from the root "-lagala" with the singular noun prefix "e-", which doubles the following consonant.
A consonant can't be both geminated and prenasalised. When morphological processes require this, the gemination is dropped and the syllable IPA| [zi] is inserted, which can then be prenasalised. For example when the prefix "en-" is aded to the adjective "-ddugavu" 'black' the result is "enzirugavu" IPA| [eːnz'irugavu] .
The nasals IPA| [m] , IPA| [n] , IPA| [ɲ] and IPA| [ŋ] can be
syllabicat the start of a word: "nkima" IPA| [n̩ʧ'ima] (monkey), "mpa" IPA| [m̩p'a] (I give), "nnyinyonnyola" IPA| [ɲ̩ɲiɲ'oɲɲola] or IPA| [ɲɲiɲ'oɲɲola] (I explain). Note that this last example can be analysed in two ways, reflecting the fact that there's no distinction between prenasalisation and gemination when applied to nasal consonants.
Syllables can take any of the following forms:
*V (only as the first syllable of a word)
*NCSVwhere V =
vowel, C = single consonant(including nasals and semivowels but excluding geminates), G = geminate consonant, N = nasal consonant, S = semivowel
These forms are subject to certain phonotactic restrictions:
*Two vowels may not appear adjacent to one another. When morphological or grammatical rules cause two vowels to meet, the first vowel is elided or reduced to a
semivoweland the second is lengthened if possible.
*A vowel following a consonant–semivowel combination (except IPA| [ggw] ) is always long. After IPA| [ggw] a vowel can be either long or short.
*A vowel followed by a
nasal consonant–non-nasal consonant combination is always long.
*A vowel followed by a geminate is always short. This rule takes precedence over all the above rules.
*The velar plosives IPA| [k] and IPA| [g] may not appear before the vowel IPA| [i] or the semivowel IPA| [j] . In this position they become the corresponding postalveolar affricates IPA| [ʧ] and IPA| [ʤ] respectively.
*The consonants IPA| [j] , IPA| [w] and IPA| [l] /IPA| [r] can't be geminated or prenasalised.
*A consonant can't be both geminated and prenasalised.
The net effect of this is that all Luganda words follow the general pattern of alternating consonant clusters and vowels, beginning with either but always ending in a vowel:
*(V)XVXV...XVwhere V =
vowel, X = consonant cluster, (V) = optional vowel
This is reflected in the
syllabificationrule that words are always hyphenated after a vowel (when breaking a word over two lines). For example "Emmotoka yange ezze" 'My car has arrived' would be split into syllables as "E‧mmo‧to‧ka ya‧nge e‧zze".
In speech, word-final
vowels are often elided in these conditioning environments:
* Word-final IPA| [u] can be silent after IPA| [f] , IPA| [ff] , IPA| [v] or IPA| [vv]
* Word-final IPA| [i] can be silent after IPA| [ʧ] , IPA| [tʧ] , IPA| [ʤ] or IPA| [dʤ]
For example, "ekiddugavu" 'black' may be pronounced IPA|/eʧ'iddugavʷu/ or IPA|/eʧ'iddugavʷ/. Similarly "Naki" (a girl's name) may be pronounced IPA|/n'aːʧi/ or IPA|/n'aːʧ/.
Luganda spelling, which has been standardised since 1947, uses the
Roman alphabetaugmented with one new letter "ŋ" and a digraph"ny" which is treated as a single letter. It has a very high sound-to-letter correspondence: one letter usually represents one sound and vice-versa.
The distinction between simple and geminate consonants is always represented explicitly: simple consonants are written single; geminates are written double. The distinction between long and short vowels is always made clear from the spelling, but not always explicitly: short vowels are always written single; long vowels are only written double when their length cannot be inferred from the context. Stress and tones are not represented in the spelling.
phonemesare always represented with the same letter or combination of letters:
* Short vowels (always spelt "a", "e", "i", "o", "u")
* All consonants apart from IPA| [l] , IPA| [r] , IPA| [ʧ] and IPA| [ʤ]
* The postalveolar affricates IPA| [ʧ] and IPA| [ʤ] , when followed by a short vowel (always spelt "c", "j"), except when the short vowel is itself followed by a geminate consonant, or when the vowel is IPA| [i]
The following phonemes can be represented with two letters or combinations of letters, with the alternation predictable from the context:
* Long vowels (spelt "a", "e", "i", "o", "u" where short vowels are impossible; "aa", "ee", "ii", "oo", "uu" elsewhere)
* The liquid IPA| [l] /IPA| [r] (spelt "r" after "e" or "i"; "l" elsewhere)
The following phonemes can be represented with two letters or combinations of letters, with unpredictable alternation between the two:
* The postalveolar affricates IPA| [ʧ] and IPA| [ʤ] , when followed by a long vowel, by a short vowel and a geminate consonant, or by an "i" sound (IPA| [i] or IPA| [iː] ) (can be spelt either with "c", "j" or with "ky", "gy")
It is therefore possible to predict the pronunciation of any word (with the exception of stress and tones) from the spelling. It's also usually possible to predict the spelling of a word from the pronunciation. The only words where this is not possible are those that include one of the affricate–vowel combinations discussed above.
* "a" IPA| [a]
* "e" IPA| [e]
* "i" IPA| [i]
* "o" IPA| [o]
* "u" IPA| [u]
As mentioned above, the distinction between long and short vowels is phonemic and is therefore represented in the orthography. Long vowels are written as double (when length cannot be inferred from the context) and short vowels are written single. For example:
* "bana" IPA|/bana/ 'four ("e.g." people)' vs "baana" IPA|/baːna/ 'children'
* "sera" IPA|/sela/ 'dance' vs "seera" IPA|/seːla/ 'overcharge'
* "sira" IPA|/sila/ 'mingle' vs "siira" IPA|/siːla/ 'walk slowly'
* "kola" IPA|/kola/ 'do' vs "koola" IPA|/koːla/ '(to) weed'
* "tuma" IPA|/tuma/ 'send' vs "tuuma" IPA|/tuːma/ '(to) name'
In certain contexts, phonotactic constraints mean that a vowel must be long, and in these cases it is not written double:
* A vowel followed by a
nasal consonant–non-nasal consonant combination
* A vowel that comes after a consonant–semivowel combination—apart from "ggw" which can be thought of as a geminated "w", and "ggy" which can be thought of as a geminated "y" (although the latter is less common as this combination is more often spelt "jj")
* "ekyuma" IPA|/eʧ'uːma/ 'metal'
* "ŋŋenda" IPA|/ŋ̩ŋ'eːnda/ 'I go'But
* "eggwolezo" IPA|/eggw'olezo/ 'court house'
* "eggwoolezo" IPA|/eggw'oːlezo/ 'customs office'
Vowels at the start or end of the word are not written double, even if they are long. The only exception to this (apart from all-vowel interjections such as "eee" and "uu") is "yee" 'yes'.
With the exception of "ny" IPA| [ɲ] , each
consonantsound in Luganda corresponds to a single letter. The "ny" combination is treated as a single letter and therefore doesn't have any effect on vowel length (see the previous subsection).
The following letters are pronounced as in English:
* "b" IPA| [b]
* "d" IPA| [d]
* "f" IPA| [f]
* "j" IPA| [ʤ]
* "l" IPA| [l]
* "m" IPA| [m]
* "n" IPA| [n]
* "p" IPA| [p]
* "s" IPA| [s]
* "t" IPA| [t]
* "v" IPA| [v]
* "w" IPA| [w]
* "y" IPA| [j]
* "z" IPA| [z]
A few letters have unusual values:
* "c" IPA| [ʧ]
* "ny" IPA| [ɲ]
* "ŋ" IPA| [ŋ]
The letters "l" and "r" represent the same sound in Luganda—IPA| [l] —but the orthography requires "r" after "e" or "i", and "l" elsewhere:
* "alinda" IPA|/al'iːnda/ 'she's waiting'
* "akirinda" IPA|/aʧil'iːnda/ 'she's waiting for it'
There are also two letters whose pronunciation depends on the following letter:
* "k" is pronounced IPA| [ʧ] before "i" or "y", IPA| [k] elsewhere
* "g" is pronounced IPA| [ʤ] before "i" or "y", IPA| [g] elsewhereCompare this to the pronunciation of "c" and "g" in many Romance languages. As in the Romance languages the 'softening letter' (in Italian "i"; in French "e"; in Luganda "y") is not itself pronounced, although in Luganda it does have the effect of lengthening the following vowel (see the previous subsection). Unlike the Romance languages, however, Luganda orthography has no way of forcing "k" or "g" to take on their 'hard' sounds, equivalent to the use of "h" in Italian or the substitution of "qu" and "gu" for "c" and "g" in French. This is not needed because the sound combinations IPA| [ki] , IPA| [gi] "etc." don't occur in Luganda. See also the previous section on phonotactics.
Finally the sounds IPA| [ɲ] and IPA| [ŋ] are spelt "n" before another consonant with the same
place of articulation(in other words, before other palatals and velars respectively) rather than "ny" and "ŋ":
* The combinations IPA| [ɲ̩ɲ] and IPA| [ɲɲ] are spelt "nny"
* The combination IPA| [ɲj] is spelt "nÿ" (the
diaeresisshows that the "y" is a separate letter rather than part of the "ny" digraph, and the IPA| [ɲ] is spelt "n" before "y" as in the above rule; in practice this combination is very rare)
* is spelt "n" before "k" or "g" (but not before another "ŋ")
The standard Luganda alphabet is composed of twenty-four letters: * 18 consonants: "b", "p", "v", "f", "m", "d", "t", "l", "r", "n", "z", "s", "j", "c", "g", "k", "ŋ", "ny" * 5 vowels: "a", "e", "i", "o", "u" * 2 semi-vowels: "w", "y"
Since the last consonant "ŋ" does not appear on standard typewriters or computer keyboards, it is often replaced by the combination "ng"'—including the apostrophe. In some non-standard authographies, the apostrophe is not used, which can lead to confusion with the letter combination "ng", which is different from "ŋ".
In addition, the letter combination "ny" is treated as a unique consonant. When the letters "n" and "y" appear next to each other, they are written as "nÿ", with the
diaeresismark to distinguish this combination from "ny".
Other letters ("h", "q", "x") are not used in the standard orthography, but are often used to write loanwords from other languages. Most such loanwords have standardised spellings consistent with Luganda orthography (and therefore not using these letters), but these spelling are not often used, particularly for English words.
The full alphabet, including both standard Luganda letters and those used only for loanwords, is as follows:
* Aa, "a"
* Bb, "bba"
* Cc, "cca"
* Dd, "dda"
* Ee, "e"
* Ff, "ffa"
* Gg, "gga"
* (Hh, "ha" footnote|1)
* Ii, "yi"
* Jj, "jja"
* Kk, "kka"
* Ll, "la"
* Mm, "mma"
* Nn, "nna"
* (NY Ny ny, "nnya" or "nna-ya") footnote|2
* Ŋŋ, "ŋŋa"
* Oo, "o"
* Pp, "ppa"
* (Qq footnote|1)
* Rr, "eri"
* Ss, "ssa"
* Tt, "tta"
* Uu, "wu"
* Vv, "vva"
* Ww, "wa"
* (Xx footnote|1)
* Yy, "ya"
* Zz, "zza"
# The letters "h", "q" and "x" are included when reciting the alphabet and are usually given their English names (apart from "ha").
digraph"ny", although considered a separate letter for orthographic purposes, is generally treated as a combination of "n" and "y" for other purposes. It's not included when reciting the alphabet.
=Grammar=Like the grammars of most
Bantu languages, Luganda grammar can be said to be "noun-centric" in the sense that most words in a sentence agree with a noun. Agreement is by gender and number, and is indicated with prefixes and infixes attached to the start of word stems.The following parts of speech agree with nouns in class and number:
verb(for subject and object roles)
NB: In the study of
Bantu languages the term "noun class" is often used to refer to what we call gender in comparative linguistics and in the study of certain other languages, and in this article we shall use both terms.
There is some disagreement as to how to count Luganda's noun classes. Some authorities count singular and
pluralforms as two separate classes while others treat the singular–plural distinction as being separate from class. By the former method there are 17 classes while by the latter there are 10, because there are two pairs of classes with identical plurals and one class with no singular–plural distinction.
The latter method is consistent with the study of non-Bantu languages: we recognise, for example, that German has three genders—masculine, feminine and neuter—and two numbers—singular and plural. To ignore the grammatical and semantic relationship between 'masculine singular' and 'masculine plural' (for example "Mann" 'man' and "Männer" 'men') and to treat them as two genders out of a total of six would be artificial; so here we shall regard number as being distinct from gender, giving ten noun classes, nine of which have separate singular and plural forms. This is the usual way to discuss Luganda (but not when discussing Bantu languages generally).
As is the case with most languages, the distribution of nouns among the classes is essentially arbitrary, but there are some loose patterns:
*Class I contains mainly people, although some inanimate nouns can be found in this class: "musajja" 'man', "kaawa" 'coffee'
*Class II contains all sorts of nouns but most of the concrete nouns in Class II are long or cylindrical. Most trees fall into this class: "muti" 'tree'
*Class III also contains many different types of concepts but most animals fall into this class: "mbwa" 'dog'
*Class IV contains inanimate objects and is the class used for the impersonal 'it': "ekitabo" 'book'
*Class V contains mainly (but not exclusively) large things and liquids, and can also be used to create
augmentatives: "ebbeere" 'breast', "lintu" 'giant' (from "muntu" 'person')
*Class VI contains mainly small things and can be used to create diminutives, adjectival
abstract nouns and (in the plural) negative verbal nouns and countries: "kabwa" 'puppy' (from "mbwa" 'dog'), "kanafu" 'laziness' (from "munafu" 'lazy'), "bukola" 'inaction, not to do' (from "kukola" 'to do, act'), "Bungereza" 'Britain, England' (from "Mungereza" 'British, English person')
*Class VII contains many different things including the names of most languages: "Oluganda" 'Luganda', "Oluzungu" 'English language' (from "muzungu" 'European, white person")
*Class VIII is rarely used but can be used to create
pejorativeforms: "gubwa" 'mutt' (from "mbwa" 'dog')
*Class IX is mainly used for
infinitives or affirmative verbal nouns: "kukola" 'action, to do' (from the verb"kola" 'do, act')
*Class X, which has no singular–plural distinction, is used for mass nouns, usually in the sense of 'a drop' or 'precious little': "tuzzi" 'drop of water' (from "mazzi" 'water'), "tubaka" 'sleep'
The class that a noun belongs to can usually be determined by its prefix:
*Class I: singular "(o)mu-", plural "(a)ba-"
*Class II: singular "(o)mu-", plural "(e)mi-"
*Class III: singular "(e)n-", plural "(e)n-"
*Class IV: singular "(e)ki-", plural "(e)bi-"
*Class V: singular "li-, eri-", plural "(a)ma-"
*Class VI: singular "(a)ka-", plural "(o)bu-"
*Class VII: singular "(o)lu-", plural "(e)n-"
*Class VIII: singular "(o)gu-", plural "(a)ga-"
*Class IX: singular "(o)ku-", plural "(a)ma-"
*Class X: "(o)tu-"
Note that there are a few only cases where prefixes overl
In fact the plurals of Classes III and VII, and those of Classes V and IX, are identical in all their prefixes (noun, verb, adjective "etc.").
Class V uses its noun prefixes a little differently from the other classes. The singular noun prefix, "eri-", is often reduced to "e-" with an accompanying doubling of the stem's initial consonant. This happens when the stem begins with a single non-nasal consonant, or a single nasal consonant followed by a long vowel, a nasal consonant and then a non-nasal consonant (called a "nasalised stem"). For example:
* "eggi" 'egg'; plural "amagi" (from stem "gi")
* "eggwanga" 'country'; plural "amawanga" (from nasalised stem "wanga"—the "w" becomes "ggw" when doubled)
* "ejjinja" 'cricket'; plural "amayinja" (from nasalised stem "yinja"—the "y" becomes "jj" when doubled)
Other stems use the full prefix:
* "erinnya" 'name'; plural "amannya" (from stem "nnya")
* "eriiso" 'eye'; plural "amayiso" (from stem "yiso")
* "eryanda" 'battery'; plural "amanda" (from stem "anda")
There are also some nouns that have no prefix. Their genders must simply be learnt by rote:
*Class I: "ssebo" 'gentleman, sir', "nnyabo" 'madam', "Katonda" 'God', "kabaka" 'king', "kyayi" 'tea', "kaawa" 'coffee'
*Class III: "kkapa" 'cat', "gomesi" 'gomesi (traditional East African women's formal dress)'
Agreement with noun classes
verbs, certain adverbs, the possessive and a few special forms of conjunctions are inflected to agree with nouns in Luganda.
As in most
Indo-European languages, adjectives must agree in gender and number with the nouns they qualify. For example:
*"omuwala omulungi" 'beautiful girl' (Class I, singular)
*"abawala abalungi" 'beautiful girls' (Class I,
*"emmotoka enungi" 'beautiful/good car' (Class V, singular)
*"amamotoka amalungi" 'beautiful/good cars' (Class V, plural)The adjective "-lungi" changes its prefix according to the gender (Class I or II) and number (singular or plural) or the noun it's qualifying (compare Italian "bella ragazza", "belle ragazze", "bel ragazzo", "bei ragazzi").
As in other Bantu languages, every
verbmust also agree with its subject in gender and number (as opposed to number only as in Indo-European languages). For example:
* "omusajja anywa" 'the man is drinking' (Class I, singular)
* "abasajja banywa" 'the men are drinking' (Class I, plural)
* "embuzi enywa" 'the goat is drinking' (Class III, singular)
* "embuzi zinywa" 'the goats are drinking' (Class III, plural)
* "akaana kanywa" 'the baby/infant is drinking' (Class VI, singular)
* "obwana bunywa" 'the babies/infants are drinking' (Class VI, plural)Here, the verb "nywa" changes its prefix according to the gender and number of its subject (compare Arabic number and gender agreement in a topicalized-subject construction: "ar-rajul yashrib" 'the man drinks', "ar-rijaal yashribou" 'the men drink', "al-mara'ah tashrib" 'the woman drinks', "an-nisaa' yashribna" 'the women drink').
Note, in the second and third examples, how the verb agrees with the number of the noun even when the noun doesn't explicitly reflect the number distinction.
When the verb governs one or more objects, there is an agreement between the object infixes and the gender and number of their antecedents:
* "mmunywa" 'I drink it ("e.g." coffee)' ("kaawa" 'coffee', Class I singular)
* "nganywa" 'I drink it ("e.g." water)' ("amazzi" 'water', Class IX plural)
See also the detailed section on verbs below.
adverbs in the grammatical sense are far rarer in Luganda than in, say, English, being mostly translated by other parts of speech—for example adjectives or particles.When the adverb is qualifying a verb, it's usually translated by an adjective, which then agrees with the subject of the verb. For example:
*"Ankonjera mubba" 'She slanders me badly'
*"Bankonjera babba" 'They slander me badly'Here, 'badly' is translated with the adjective "-bba" 'bad, ugly', which is declined to agree with the subject—changing its prefix to "mu-" when the subject is singular or "ba" when it's plural.
Other concepts can be translated by invariant particles. for example the intensifying particle "nnyo" is attached to an adjective or verb to mean 'very', 'a lot'. For example: "Lukwago anywa nnyo" 'Lukwago drinks a lot'.
There are also two groups of true adverb in Luganda, both of which agree with the verbal subject or qualified noun (not just in gender and number but also in person), but which are inflected differently. The first group is conjugated in the same way as
verbs and contains only a few words: "tya" 'how', "ti" 'like this', "tyo" 'like that':
*"Njogera bwe nti" 'I speak like this'
*"Abasiraamu basaba bwe bati" 'Muslims pray like this'
*"Enkima elya bwe bweti" 'The monkey eats like this'
*"Enkima zilya bwe ziti" 'Monkeys eat like this'The adverb "ti" 'like this' (the last word in each of the above sentences) is conjugated as a verb to agree with the subject of the sentence in gender, number and person.
The second group takes a different set of prefixes, based on the pronouns. Adverbs in this group inclusde "-nna" 'all' (or, with the singular, 'any'), "-kka" 'only', "-mbi, -mbiriri" 'both' and "-nsatule" 'all three':
*"Nkola nzekka" 'I work alone'
*"Nzekka nkola" 'Only I work'
*"Wekka okola" 'Only you work'
*"Nzekka ndikigula emmotoka" 'Only I will buy the car'
*"Ndikigula emmotoka lyokka" 'I will only buy the car'Note how, in the last two examples, the adverb "-kka" agrees with whichever antecedent it's qualifying—either the implicit "nze" 'I' or the explicit "emmotoka" 'the car'.
Note also, in the first two examples, how the placement of "nzekka" before or after the verb makes the difference between 'only' (when the adverb qualifies and agrees with the subject—the implicit "nze" 'I') and 'alone' (when it qualifies the verb "nkola" 'I work' but agrees with the subject).
The possessive in Luganda is indicated with a different particle for each singular and plural noun class (according to the possessed noun). An alternative way of thinking about the Luganda possessive is as a single word whose initial
consonant clusteris altered to agree with the possessed noun in class and number.
Depending on the possessed noun, the possessive takes one of the following forms:
* Singular "wa", plural "ba" (Class I)
* Singular "gwa", plural "gya" (Class II)
* Singular "ya", plural "za" (Class III)
* Singular "kya", plural "bya" (Class IV)
* Singular "lya", plural "ga" (Class V)
* Singular "ka", plural "bwa" (Class VI)
* Singular "lwa", plural "za" (Class VII)
* Singular "gwa", plural "ga" (Class VIII)
* Singular "kwa", plural "ga" (Class IX)
* "Twa" (Class X)
If the possessor is a
personal pronoun, the separate possessive form is not used. Instead, the following personal possessives are used:
* "Wange" 'my', "wo" 'your (singular possessor)', "we" 'his, her'; "waffe" 'our', "wammwe" 'your (plural possessor)', "waabwe" 'their' (Class I, singular possessed noun)
* "Bange" 'my', "bo" 'your (singular possessor)', "be" 'his, her'; "baffe" 'our', "bammwe" 'your (plural possessor)', "baabwe" 'their' (Class I, plural possessed noun)
* "Gwange" 'my', "gwo" 'your (singular possessor)', "gwe" 'his, her'; "gwaffe" 'our', "gwammwe" 'your (plural possessor)', "gwabwe" 'their' (Class II, singular possessed noun)
* "Gyange" 'my', "gyo" 'your (singular possessor)', "gye" 'his, her'; "gyaffe" 'our', "gyammwe" 'your (plural possessor)' "gyabwe" 'their' (Class II, plural possessed noun)
* "Yange" 'my', "yo" 'your', "etc." (Class III, singular possessed noun)
Compare these to the French
* "Mon" 'my', "ton" 'your (singular possessor)', "son" 'his, her, its'; "notre" 'our', "votre" 'your (plural possessor)', "leur" 'their'—Masculine singular possessed noun
* "Ma" 'my', "ta" 'your (singular possessor)', "sa" 'his, her, its'; "notre" 'our', "votre" 'your (plural possessor)', "leur" 'their'—Masculine singular possessed noun
* "Mes" 'my', "tes" 'your (singular possessor)', "ses" 'his, her, its'; "nos" 'our', "vos" 'your (plural possessor)', "leurs" 'their'—Plural possessed noun
There are also a few
nouns that take special forms when used with a possessive:
* "Kitange" 'my father', "kitaawo" 'your (singular) father', "kitaawe" 'his/her father'
ubject and objects
The subject prefixes for the personal pronouns are:
* First person: singular "n-" 'I', plural "tu-" 'we'
* Second person: singular "o-" 'you (singular)', "mu-" 'you (plural)'
* Third person: singular "a-" 'he, she', "ba-" 'they (Class I)'
For impersonal pronouns the subject prefixes are:
* Class I: singular "a-", plural "ba-" ("i.e." the third person prefixes shown directly above)
* Class II: singular "gu-", plural "gi-"
* Class III: singular "e-", plural "zi-"
* Class IV: singular "ki-", plural "bi-"
* Class V: singular "li-", plural "ga-"
* Class VI: singular "ka-", plural "bu-"
* Class VII: singular "lu-", plural "zi-"
* Class VIII: singular "gu-", plural "ga-"
* Class IX: singular "ku-", plural "ga-"
* Class X: "tu-"
When a verb governs one or more objects, they are shown with infixes that agree with the
antecedentin person and number. As with the subject prefix, the third person infixes also agree with their antecedents in noun class. The personal object infixes are:
* First person: singular "-n-" 'me', plural "-tu-" 'us'
* Second person: singular "-ku-" 'you (singular)', "-ba-" 'you (plural)'
* Third person: singular "-mu-" 'him, her', "-ba-" 'them (Class I)'
For the third person the object prefixes are:
* Class I: singular "-mu-", plural "-ba-" ("i.e." the third person prefixes shown directly above)
* Class II: singular "-gu-", plural "-gi-"
* Class III: singular "-ta-", plural "-zi-"
* Class IV: singular "-ki-", plural "-bi-"
* Class V: singular "-li-", plural "-ga-"
* Class VI: singular "-ka-", plural "-bu-"
* Class VII: singular "-lu-", plural "-zi-"
* Class VIII: singular "-gu-", plural "-ga-"
* Class IX: singular "-ku-", plural "-ga-"
* Class X: "-tu-"
Note the similarity between each subject prefix and the corresponding object infix: they are the same in all cases except Class I and the singular of Class III. Note also the correspondence between the object infixes and the noun prefixes (see Nouns above): when every "m-" in the noun prefix is replaced by a "g-" in the object infix, the only differences are in Classes I and III.
direct objectinfix is usually inserted directly after the subject prefix:
* "nkirudde" 'I ate it' ("n-" subject 'I' + "-ki-" object 'it' + "-rudde" verb 'ate')
indirect objectinfix comes after the direct object:
* "nkimuwadde" 'I gave it to him' ("n-" subject 'I' + "-ki-" object 'it' + "-mu-" object '(to) him' + "-wadde" verb 'gave')
The negative is usually formed by prefixing "te-" or "t-" to the subject prefix, or, in the case of the first person singular, replacing the prefix with "si-". This results in the following set of personal subject prefixes:
* First person: singular "si-" 'I', plural "tetu-" 'we'
* Second person: singular "to-" 'you (singular)', "temu-" 'you (plural)'
* Third person: singular "ta-" 'he, she', "teba-" 'they (Class I)'
The negative impersonal subject prefixes are:
* Class I: singular "ta-", plural "teba-" ("i.e." the third person prefixes shown directly above)
* Class II: singular "tegu-", plural "tegi-"
* Class III: singular "te-", plural "tezi-"
* Class IV: singular "teki-", plural "tebi-"
* Class V: singular "teri-", plural "tega-"
* Class VI: singular "teka-", plural "tebu-"
* Class VII: singular "telu-", plural "tezi-"
* Class VIII: singular "tegu-", plural "tega-"
* Class IX: singular "teku-", plural "tega-"
* Class X: "tetu-"
When used with object relatives or the narrative tense (see below), the negative is formed with the infix "-ta-", which is inserted after the subject and object affixes:
* "Omuntu gwe nnalabye" 'The person whom I saw'
* "Omuntu gwe nnatalabye" 'The person whom I didn't see'
Tense in Luganda is explicitly marked on the verb, as it is in most other Bantu languages.
present tenseis formed by simply adding the subject prefixes to the stem:
* "nkola" 'I do'
* "okola" 'you do'
* "akola" 'he, she does'
* "tukola" 'we do'
* "mukola" 'you (plural) do'
* "bakola" 'they (class I) do'
* "gukola" 'it (class II) does'
* "gikola" 'they (class II) do'
* "ekola" 'he, she, it (class III) does'
* "zikola" 'they (class III) do'
* "kikola" 'it (class IV) does'
* "bikola" 'they (class IV) do'
* "likola" 'it (class V) does'
* "gakola" 'they (class V) do'
* "kakola" 'it (class VI) does'
* "bukola" 'they (class VI) do'
* "lukola" 'it (class VII) does'
* "zikola" 'they (class VII) do'
The negative is formed in the same way but with the negative subject prefixes:
* "sikola" 'I don't do'
* "tokola" 'you don't do'
* "takola" 'he, she doesn't do'
* "tetukola" 'we don't do'
* "temukola" 'you (plural) don't do'
* "tebakola" 'they (class I) don't do'
* "tegukola" 'it (class II) doesn't do'
* "tegikola" 'they (class II) don't do'
* "tekola" 'he, she, it (class III) doesn't do'
* "tezikola" 'they (class III) don't do'
* "tekikola" 'it (class IV) doesn't do'
* "tebikola" 'they (class IV) don't do'
* "terikola" 'it (class V) does'
* "tegakola" 'they (class V) do'
* "tekakola" 'it (class VI) doesn't do'
* "tebukola" 'they (class VI) don't do'
* "terukola" 'it (class VII) doesn't do'
* "tezikola" 'they (class VII) don't do'
This is the usual way of forming the negative in Luganda.
Present perfect tense
present perfect tensemakes use of a special form of the verb stem, called the 'modified form'. This is formed by making various changes to the final syllable of the stem, usually involving either changing the final syllable to one of the following suffixes, or adding a suffix:
The present perfect is just the subject prefixes plus the modified stem:
* "nkoze" 'I have done'
* "okoze" 'you have done'
* "akoze" 'he, she has done'
* "tukoze" 'we have done'
* "mukoze" 'you (plural) have done'
* "bakoze" 'they (class I) have done'
* "gukoze" 'it (class II) has done'
* "gikoze" 'they (class II) have done'
* "ekoze" 'it (class III) has done'
* "zikoze" 'they (class III) have done'
The present perfect tense in Luganda is sometimes slightly weaker in its 'past' meaning than in English. It's often used with intransitive verbs with the sense of being in the state of having done something. For example "ddange azze" means 'my husband has arrived' (using the present perfect form "-zze" of the verb "jja" 'to come'; "ŋŋenze" usually means 'I'm off' rather than 'I have gone'. But to say "I have done" a Muganda would usually use one of the past tenses "nnakoze" or "nnakola" 'I did' because "kola" is a transitive verb.
The present perfect is also used to show physical attitude. For example, using the verb "okutuula" 'to sit down': "ntuula" (present tense) means 'I am in the process of sitting myself down'; to say 'I'm sitting down' in the usual English sense of 'I'm seated', a
Mugandawould use the present perfect: "ntudde".
The negative is formed in the usual way.
Near past tense
The near past is formed by inserting the infix "-a-" before the modified form of the stem. This infix, being a vowel, has the effect of changing the form of the subject prefixes:
* "nnakoze" 'I did'
* "wakoze" 'you did'
* "yakoze" 'he, she did'
* "twakoze" 'we did'
* "mwakoze" 'you (plural) did'
* "baakoze" 'they (class I) did'
The near past tense is used for events that have happened in the past 18 hours. The negative is formed in the usual way.
Far past tense
The far past is formed with the same infix "-a-" as the near past, but using the simple form of the stem:
* "nnakola" 'I did'
* "wakola" 'you did'
* "yakola" 'he, she did'
* "twakola" 'we did'
* "mwakola" 'you (plural) did'
* "baakola" 'they (class I) did'
The far past tense is used for events that happened more than 18 hours ago, and can also be used as a weak
pluperfect tense. This is the tense that's used in novels and storytelling.
The negative is formed in the usual way.
Near future tense
The near future is used when describing things that are going to happen within the next 18 hours. It's formed with the infix "-naa-" on the simple form of the stem:
* "nnaakola" 'I shall do'
* "onookola" 'you will do'
* "anaakola" 'he, she will do'
* "tunaakola" 'we shall do'
* "munaakola" 'you (plural) will do'
* "banaakola" 'they (class I) will do'
* "eneekola" 'they (class III) will do'
* "zinaakola" 'they (class III) will do'
* ...In the second person singular and the singular of Class III, the infix becomes "-noo-" and "-nee-" in harmony with the subject prefix.
The negative form of this tense is formed by changing the final "-a" of the stem to an "-e" and using vowel-lengthened negative subject prefixes; no tense infix is used:
* "siikole" 'I shan't do'
* "tookole" 'you won't do'
* "taakole" 'he, she won't do'
* "tetuukole" 'we shan't do'
* "temumkole" 'you (plural) won't do'
* "tebaakole" 'they (class I) won't do'
* "teguukole" 'it (class II) won't do'
* "tegiikole" 'they (class II) won't do'
* "teekole" 'he, she, it (class III) won't do'
* "teziikole" 'they (class III) won't do'
Far future tense
The far future is used for events that will take place more than 18 hours in the future. It's formed with the infix "-li-" on the simple form of the stem:
* "ndikola" 'I shall do'
* "olikola" 'you will do'
* "alikola" 'he, she will do'
* "tulikola" 'we shall do'
* "mulikola" 'you (plural) will do'
* "balikola" 'they (class I) will do'
Note how the "l" of the tense infix becomes a "d" after the "n-" of the first person singular subject prefix.
The negative is formed in the usual way.
conditional tenseis formed with the infix "-andi-" and the modified form of the stem:
* "nnandikoze" 'I would do'
* "wandikoze" 'you would do'
* "yandikoze" 'he, she would do'
* "twandikoze" 'we would do'
* "mwandikoze" 'you (plural) would do'
* "bandikoze" 'they (class I) would do'
The negative is formed in the usual way.
subjunctiveis a tense in Luganda, rather than a mood as in some languages. It's formed by changing the final "-a" of the stem to an "-e":
* "nkole" 'I may do'
* "okole" 'you may do'
* "akole" 'he, she may do'
* "tukole" 'we may do'
* "mukole" 'you may do'
* "bakole" 'they may do'
The negative is formed either with the
auxiliary verb"lema" ('to fail') plus the infinitive:
* "nneme kukola" 'I may not do'
* "oleme kukola" 'you may not do'
* "aleme kukola" 'he, she may not do'
* "tuleme kukola" 'we may not do'
* "muleme kukola" 'you may not do'
* "baleme kukola" 'they may not do'
or using the same forms as the negative of the near future:
* "siikole" 'I may not do'
* "tookole" 'you may not do'
* "taakole" 'he, she may not do'
* "tetuukole" 'we may not do'
* "temuukole" 'you may not do'
* "tebaakole" 'they may not do'
Luganda has some special tenses not found in many other languages. The 'still' tense is used to say that something is still happening. It's formed with the infix "-kya-":
* "nkyakola" 'I'm still doing'
* "okyakola" 'you're still doing'
* "akyakola" 'he, she is still doing'
* "tukyakola" 'we're still doing'
* "mukyakola" 'you're still doing'
* "bakyakola" 'they're still doing'
In the negative it means 'no longer':
* "sikyakola" 'I'm no longer doing'
* "tokyakola" 'you're no longer doing'
* "takyakola" 'he, she is no longer doing'
* "tetukyakola" 'we're no longer doing'
* "temukyakola" 'you're no longer doing'
* "tebakyakola" 'they're no longer doing'
With intransitive verbs, especially verbs of physical attitude (see Present Perfect Tense above), the "-kya-" infix can also be used with the modified verb stem to give a sense of 'still being in a state'. For example "nkyatudde" means 'I'm still seated'.
The 'so far' tense is used when talking about what has happened so far, with the implication that more is to come. It's formed with the infix "-aaka-":
* "nnaakakola" 'I have so far done'
* "waakakola" 'you have so far done'
* "yaakakola" 'he, she has so far done'
* "twaakakola" 'we have so far done'
* "mwaakakola" 'you have so far done'
* "baakakola" 'they have so far done'
This tense is found only in the
affirmative. The 'not yet' tense, on the other hand, is found only in the negative. It's used to talk about things that haven't happened yet (but which may well happen in the future), and is formed with the infix "-nna-":
* "sinnakola" 'I haven't yet done'
* "tonnakola" 'you haven't yet done'
* "tannakola" 'he, she hasn't yet done'
* "tetunnakola" 'we haven't yet done'
* "temunnakola" 'you haven't yet done'
* "bannakola" 'they haven't yet done'
When describing a series of events that happen (or will or did happen) sequentially, the narrative form is used for all but the first verb in the sentence. It’s formed by the particle "ne" (or "n’" before a
vowel) followed by the present tense:
* "Nnagenda ne nkuba essimu" 'I went and made a phone call'
* "Ndigenda ne nkuba essimu" 'I’ll go and make a phone call'
The narrative can be used with any tense, as long as the events it describes are in immediate sequence. The negative is formed with the infix "-ta-" placed immediately after the object infixes (or after the subject prefix if no object infixes are used):
* "Saagenda ne ntakuba essimu" 'I didn't go and made a phone call'
* "Sirigenda ne ntakuba essimu" 'I won't go and make a phone call'
* "Sinnagenze ne ndigitakuba" 'I haven't gone to make it yet'
Compare this with the negative construction used with the object relatives.
Other tenses can be formed periphrastically, with the use of auxiliary verbs. Some of Luganda's auxiliary verbs can also be used as main verbs; some are always auxiliaries:
* "okuba" 'to be': used with an optional "nga" with another
finite verbto form compound tenses
* "okujja" 'to come': forms a future tense when used with the infinitive of the main verb
* "okulyoka" or "okulyokka" (only used as an auxiliary): appears with another finite verb, usually translated 'and then' or (in the subjunctive) 'so that'
* "okumala" 'to finish': used with the infinitive to denote completed action, or with the stem of the main verb prefixed with "ga-" to mean 'whether one wants to or not'
* "okutera" (only used as an auxiliary): used with the infinitive of the main verb to mean (in the present tense) 'to tend to' or (in the near future) 'about to'
* "okuva" 'to come from': followed by the main verb in the infinitive, means 'just been'
* "okulema" 'to fail': used with the inifinitive to form negatives
The meaning of a verb can be altered in an almost unlimited number of ways by means of modifications to the verb stem. There are only a handful of core derivational modifications, but these can be added to the verb stem in virtually any combination, resulting in hundreds of possible compound modifications.
The passive is produced by replacing the final "-a" with "-wa" or "-ibwa"/"-ebwa":
* "okulaba" 'to see' → "okulabwa" 'to be seen'
The reflexive is created by adding the prefix "e-" to the verb stem (equivalent to replacing the "oku-" prefix of the
* "okutta" 'to kill' → "okwetta" 'to kill oneself'
Many verbs are used only in their reflexive form:
* "okwebaka" 'to sleep' (simple form *"okubaka" is not used)
* "okwetaga" 'to need' (simple form *"okutaga" is not used)
This is formed by doubling the stem, and generally adds the sense of repetition or intensity:
* "okukuba" 'to strike' → "okukubaakuba" 'to batter'
The applied, or prepositional, modification, allows the verb to take an extra object and gives it the meaning 'to do for or with (someone or something)". It's formed with the infix "-ir-" inserted before the final "-a" of the stem:
* "okukola" 'to work' → "okukolira" 'to work for (an employer)'
* "okwebaka" 'to sleep' → "okwebakira" 'to sleep on ("e.g." a piece of furniture)'
Adding the applied infix twice gives the 'augmentative applied' modification, which has an alternative applied sense, usually further removed from the original sense than the simple applied modification:
* "okukola" 'to work' → "okukolirera" 'to utilise, employ'
causativeis formed with various changes applied to the end of the verb, usually involving the final "-a" changing to "-ya", "-sa" or "-za". It gives a verb the sense of 'to cause to do', and can also make an intransitive verbtransitive:
* "okulaba" 'to see' → "okulabya" 'to show'
* "okufuuka" 'to become' → "okufuusa" 'to turn (something or someone) into (something else)'
Appling two causative modifications results in the 'second causative':
* "okulaba" 'to see' → "okulabya" 'to show' → "okulabizza" 'to cause to show'
The neuter modification, also known as the stative, is similar to the '-able' suffix in English, except that the result is a verb meaning 'to be "x"-able' rather than an adjective meaning "'x"-able'. It's formed by inserting the infix "-ik"/"-ek" before the stem's final "-a":
* "okukola" 'to do' → "okukoleka" 'to be possible'
* "okulya" 'to eat' → "okuliika" 'to be edible'
The intransitive conversive modification reverses the meaning of an
intransitive verband leaves it intransitive, or reverses the meaning of a transitive verband makes it intransitive, similar to English's 'un-' prefix. It's formed with the infix "-uk-" inserted before the stem's final "-a":
* "okukyala" 'to pay a visit' → "okukyaluka" 'to end one's visit, to depart'
This is similar to the intransitive conversive except that it results in a transitive verb. In other words it reverses the meaning of an
intransitive verband makes it transitive, or reverses the meaning of a transitive verb and leaves it transitive. It's formed with the infix "-ul-":
* "okukola" 'to do' → "okukolula" 'to undo'
* "okusimba" 'to plant' → "okusimbula" 'to uproot'
* "okukyala" 'to pay a visit' → "okukyalula" 'to send off'
Two conversive infixes create the augmentative conversive modification:
* "okulimba" 'to deceive' → "okulimbulula" 'to disabuse, set straight'
The reciprocal modification is formed with the suffix "-na" or "-gana" (or less commonly "-ŋŋa"):
* "okulaba" 'to see' → "okulabagana" 'to see one another'
* "okutta" 'to kill' → "okuttaŋŋa" 'to kill each other'
The progressive is formed with the suffix "-nga". It's used with finite verbs to give the sense of continuousness:
* "ndimukuuma" 'I'll look after him' → "ndimukuumanga" 'I'll always look after him'
* "tosinda" 'don't whinge' → "tosindanga" 'never whinge'
This is not really a modification but a
clitic, so it's always applied 'after' any grammatical inflexions.
Combinations of modifications
More than one modification can be made to a single stem:
* "okukolulika" 'to be undo-able ("i.e." reversible)'—conversive neuter: "kola" → "kolula" → "kolulika"
* "okusimbuliza" 'to transplant'—conversive applied causative: "simba" -> "simbula" → "simbulira" → "simbuliza"
* "okulabaalabana" 'to look around oneself, be distracted'—reduplicative reciprocal: "laba" → "labaalaba" → "labaalabana"
* "okulabaalabanya" 'to distract'—reduplicative reciprocal causative: "laba" → "labaalaba" → "labaalabana" → "labaalabanya"
* "okwebakiriza" 'to pretend to sleep'—reflexive augmentative applied causative "baka" → "ebaka" → "ebakira" (applied) → "ebakirira" (augmentative applied) → "ebakiriza"
There are some restrictions that apply to the combinations in which these modifications can be made. For example the 'applied' modification can't be made to a causative stem; any causative modifications must first be removed, the applied modification made and the causative modifications then reapplied. And since the reflexive is formed with a prefix rather than a suffix, it's impossible to distinguish between, for example, reflexive causative and causative reflexive.
The Luganda system of cardinal numbers is quite complicated. The numbers 'one' to 'five' are specialised numerical adjectives that agree with the
nounthey qualify. The words for 'six' to 'ten' are numerical nouns that don't agree with the qualified noun.
'Twenty' to 'fifty' are expressed as multiples of ten using the cardinal numbers for 'two' to 'five' with the plural of 'ten'. 'Sixty' to 'one hundred' are numerical nouns in their own right, derived from the same roots as the nouns for 'six' to 'ten' but with different class prefixes.
In a similar pattern, 'two hundred' to 'five hundred' are expressed as multiples of a hundred using the cardinal numbers with the plural of 'one hundred'. Then 'six hundred' to 'one thousand' are nouns, again derived from the same roots as 'six' to 'ten'. The pattern repeats up to 'ten thousand', then standard nouns are used for 'ten thousand', 'one hundred thousand' and 'one million'.
The words used for this system are:
Numerical adjectives (declined to agree with the qualified noun):
* "emu" ("mumu", "limu", "kamu", "kimu", ...) 'one'
* "bbiri" ("babiri", "abiri", ...) 'two'
* "ssatu" ("basatu", "asatu", ...) 'three'
* "nnya" ("bana", "ana", ...) 'four'
* "ttaano" ("bataano", "ataano", ...) 'five'Numerical nouns:
* 'Six' to 'ten' (Class II)
** "mukaaga" 'six'
** "musanvu" 'seven'
** "munaana" 'eight'
** "mwenda" 'nine'
** "kkumi" 'ten'; plural "amakumi"
* 'Sixty' to 'one hundred' (Classes III and IV)
** "nkaaga" 'sixty' (Class III)
** "nsanvu" 'seventy'
** "kinaana" 'eighty' (Class IV)
** "kyenda" 'ninety'
** "kikumi" 'one hundred'; plural "bikumi"
* 'Six hundred' to 'one thousand' (Class VII)
** "lukaaga" 'six hundred'
** "lusanvu" 'seven hundred'
** "lunaana" 'eight hundred'
** "lwenda" 'nine hundred'
** "lukumi" 'one thousand'; plural "nkumi"
* 'Six thousand' to 'ten thousand' (Class VI)
** "kakaaga" 'six thousand'
** "kasanvu" 'seven thousand'
** "kanaana" 'eight thousand'
** "kenda" 'nine thousand'
** (archaic) "kakumi" 'ten thousand'; plural "bukumi"Standard nouns:
* "omutwalo" 'ten thousand'; plural "emitwalo" (Class II)
* "akasiriivu" 'one hundred thousand'; plural "obusiriivu" (Class VI)
* "akakadde" 'one million'; plural "obukadde" (Class VI)
* "akawumbi" 'one trillion' (1,000,000,000,000); plural "obuwumbi" (Class VI)
* "akafukunya" 'one quintillion' (1,000,000,000,000,000,000); plural "obufukunya" (Class VI)
* "akasedde" 'one septillion' (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000); plural "obusedde" (Class VI)
Digits are specified from left to right, combined with "na" (following "kkumi") and "mu" (following any other word). For example:
* 12 "kkumi na bbiri" (10 + 2)
* 22 "amakumi abiri mu bbiri" (10 × 2 + 2)
* 65 "nkaaga mu ttaano" (60 + 5)
* 122 "kikumi mu amakumi abiri mu bbiri" (100 + 10 × 2 + 2)
* 222 "bikumi bibiri mu amakumi abiri mu bbiri" (100 × 2 + 10 × 2 + 2)
* 1,222 "lukumi mu bikumi bibiri mu amakumi abiri mu bbiri" (1000 + 100 × 2 + 10 × 2 + 2)
* 1,024 "lukumi mu amakumi abiri mu nnya" (1000 + 10 × 2 + 4)
* 2,222 "nkumi bbiri mu bikumi bibiri mu amakumi abiri mu bbiri" (1000 × 2 + 100 × 2 + 10 × 2 + 2)
* 2,500 "nkumi bbiri mu bikumi bitaano" (1000 × 2 + 100 × 5)
* 7,500 "kasanvu mu bikumi bitaano" (7000 + 100 × 5)
* 7,600 "kasanvu mu lukaaga" (7000 + 600)
* 9,999 "kenda mu lwenda mu kyenda mu mwenda" (9000 + 900 + 90 + 9)
* 999,000 "obusiriivu mwenda mu omutwalo mwenda mu kenda"
* 1,000,000 "akakadde" (1000000)
* 3,000,000 "obukadde gibiri" (1000000 × 3)
* 10,000,000 "obukadde kkumi" (1000000 × 10)
* 122,000,122 "obukadde kikumi mu amakumi abiri mu bubiri mu kikumi mu amakumi abiri mu bbiri" (1000000 * (100 + 10 × 2 + 2) + 100 + 10 × 2 + 2)
The numerical adjectives agree with the qualified noun:
* "emmotoka emu" 'one car'
* "omukazi mumu" 'one woman'
* "amamotoka ataano" 'five cars'
* "abakazi bataano" 'five women'but
* "amamotoka kikumi" 'a hundred cars'
* "abakazi kikumi" 'a hundred women'and
* "abasajja kkumi na mumu" 'eleven men'
* "ente kkumi na emu" 'eleven cattle'
The forms "emu", "bbiri", "ssatu", "nnya" and "ttaano" are used when counting (as well as when qualifying nouns of classes III and VII).
However, a complication arises from the agreement of numerical adjectives with the powers of ten. Since the words for 'ten', 'hundred', 'thousand' and so on belong to different classes, each power of ten can be inferred from the form of the adjective qualifying it, so the plural forms of the powers of ten ("amakumi" 'tens', "bikumi" 'hundreds', "nkumi" 'thousands', "bukumi" 'tens of thousands') are usually omitted, as long as this doesn't result in ambiguity.
* 40 "amakumi ana" → "ana"
* 22 "amakumi abiri mu bbiri" → "abiri mu bbiri"
* 222 "bikumi bibiri mu amakumi abiri mu bbiri" → "bibiri mu abiri mu bbiri"
* 1,024 "lukumi mu amakumi abiri mu nnya" → "lukumi mu abiri mu nnya"
* 2,222 "nkumi bbiri mu bikumi bibiri mu amakumi abiri mu bbiri" → "nkumi bbiri mu bibiri mu abiri mu bbiri"
* 2,500 "nkumi bbiri mu bikumi bitaano" → "nkumi bbiri mu bitaano"
* 7,500 "kasanvu mu bikumi bitaano" → "kasanvu mu bitaano"
* 122,000,122 "obukadde kikumi mu amakumi abiri mu bubiri mu kikumi mu amakumi abiri mu bbiri" → "obukadde kikumi mu abiri mu bubiri mu kikumi mu amakumi mu bbiri"
Note that while "amanda amakumi ana" '40 batteries' will usually be shortened to "amanda ana", "embwa amakumi ana" '40 dogs' cannot be shortened to "embwa ana" because "ana" is the form of "nnya" used with "embwa", so this actually means 'four dogs'! The confusion doesn't arise with "amanda" because 'four batteries' would be "amanda gana"."Nkumi" 'thousands' is also not usually omitted because the form the numerical adjectives take when qualifying it is the same as the counting form, so 3,000 will always be rendered "nkumi ssatu".
* Ashton, Ethel O., and others (1954) A Luganda Grammar, London: Longmans, Green.
* Snoxall, R.A. (1967) Luganda-English Dictionary. Clarendon Press, Oxford
* Katamba, Francis (1993) A new approach to tone in Luganda, in Language. 69. 1. pp.33-67
* Murphy, John D. (1972) Luganda-English Dictionary. Catholic University of America Press
* Chesswas, J. D. (1963) Essentials of Luganda. Oxford University Press
* [http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=lug Ethnologue report for Ganda/Luganda]
* [http://www.fsi-language-courses.com/Luganda.aspx Luganda Basic Course] , developed by the USA Foreign Service Institute (1968)
* [http://www.linguistics.berkeley.edu/~hyman/Luganda_Word_Paper.pdf "The Word in Luganda"] , by Larry M. Hyman & Francis X. Katamba
*An excellent online summary of the Luganda language can be found at http://www.buganda.com/luganda.htm.
*Free online Luganda Dictionary on the Ganda Ancestry website http://www.gandaancestry.com/dictionary/dictionary.php
*Free online talking Luganda Dictionary and Crossword Puzzle on the Ganda portal http://www.GandaSpace.com
* [http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org/definition/Luganda-english/ Luganda - English Dictionary]
*The website of a team developing Luganda language capability for computers is at http://www.kizito.uklinux.net
* [http://www.panafril10n.org/wikidoc/pmwiki.php/PanAfrLoc/Ganda PanAfrican L10n page on Ganda]
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